The College of San Mateo presence continues to grow on the Cal roster, with CSM safety linebacker/safety Sam Atoe joining fellow CSM commit Trevor Kelly and current Bear Sione Sina as Golden Bears.
The 6-0/215 Atoe spent the evening celebrating his commitment with his family before breaking away to talk about his commitment.
Prepping at Maria Carillo High School in Santa Rosa and playing at nearby College of San Mateo, Cal was no stranger to Atoe coming into his visit this weekend.†
"I'd been to Cal a few times, including their Junior Day and a couple unofficial visits so there were a lot of things I was familiar with but the new stadium and facilities were great additions," said Atoe. "It's beautiful there. It was great before but it's amazing now.
"My visit was great. I can't lie.†
"I felt really comfortable with the coaches and players and I really liked the strength and conditioning coach (Damon Harrington), too. I got a good feel for the coaches and got to hang out with some players.
"I know there's some things that went on in the locker room. I don't know too much about it but I'm hoping to come in there and start something great and on the rise.
"They want us to come in and help create culture where everyone plays as a team, with no individuals or egos. They know how we are not only as athletes but as people off the field.
"I believe in what he coaches are selling and we're on board."†
Atoe describes himself as humble, teachable and a hard worker as a person and player.
"When I need to talk and say something, I will," said Atoe. "I'm very emotional on the field and when I make big plays, I'll celebrate with my dudes."
College of San Mateo defensive coordinator has nothing but praise for the newest Bears, as well as cornerback DeShane Hines who visited today, as well.
"They've worked really hard," said Tullock. "They're more than great football players. They're great people and I'm just happy for them. They've done a great job for us and I'm sure they'll make a big impact at Cal.
"Sam's a do-everything guy. He returned kicks. He returned punts. He covered kicks. He covered punts. He played safety. He played nickel. He's just a great football player. He has great instincts. He plays with his hair on fire. He's all over the field.
"He's a kid you can really do a lot of things with. There's so much spread stuff out there and he gives you the physicality of a linebacker that can play in the box with the skills of a DB that can play in space.
"He's just a tremendous competitor.
"Sam's a great leader, too. He's vocal. He's fiery. He was on our leadership council. He's a tremendous athlete and great guy."†
Atoe is anxious to join friend and former CSM Bulldog Sione Sina when he arrives at Cal next month.
"He's such a great guy and a great player," said Atoe. "On the plus side, I get to play with him two years so I'm happy about that."†
As for current and future teammate Trevor Kelly, Atoe has the same level of affection.
"Aw man, he's like a little kid," said Atoe. "When we're together, I swear the little kid comes out in both of us, just messing around. He's a great guy and I love Trevor.
"He's a big strong guy, too. From what I hear, he was one of the top wrestlers in the state and a really good football player.
"When he came to CSM from Sac State, he was a really big piece of the puzzle. We had good guys but having Trevor come there to show us what it was like at the D1 level really helped. He and the other d-lineman kept the offensive line off us and they made lots of plays in the backfield. And if Sione were still here, it for sure would've been over."
Atoe and Kelly led the Bulldogs to a 10-1 record in 2013, with their only loss coming at the hands of state champ Butte College.†
Atoe is being recruited for a nickel player in the Cal defense -a hybrid outside linebacker/safety position for the Bears.†
The Bears beat out Texas Tech, TCU, Nevada and Fresno State, amongst others for Atoe's services.
To view Atoe's CSM highlights, Click Here